The ability to think through causes and effects is a key to success in many college
courses, jobs, and everyday situations. Daily we puzzle over the causes of, or reasons
for, events: What caused one brother to drop out of school and another to
succeed brilliantly? What causes Jenine's asthma attacks? Why did the stock market
plunge 300 points?
Effects are the results of a cause or causes. Does playing violent computer
games affect a child's behavior? What are the effects of being a twin, keeping a secret,
or winning the lottery?
Most events worth examining have complex, not simple, causes and effects.
That is, they may have several causes and several effects. Certainly, in many
fields, questions of cause and effect challenge even the experts: What will be the
long-term effects of the breakup of the former Soviet Union? What causes the HIV virus to
disappear from the blood of some infected babies? (This one answer could help save
millions of lives.)
To navigate through this chapter's online resources, click the Prepare for Class, Improve Your Grade, and ACE the Test buttons in the blue sidebar on the left.